March 29, 2000 - Columbus, Ohio
- A Case For Settlement
Ohio Tax Commissioner Tom Zaino today announced the
settlement of another multi-million dollar lawsuit brought by
an electric utility company challenging personal property
taxes paid on the Perry Nuclear Power Plant.
Duquesne Light Company (Pittsburgh, PA.) was seeking refunds
for local taxes paid on business equipment and property back
to 1988. Potential refunds, according to Department
estimates, could have exceeded $125 million. School districts
and local governments in northeast Ohio – primarily in Lake
and Jefferson Counties -- would have been responsible for
paying the money back.
Zaino says the company agreed to drop all pending refund
claims, including those in the lawsuit, and will receive $6.4
million in credits against current and future taxes, "This
agreement benefits all the parties involved. The company can
close its books on what’s been an ongoing expense. The
schools and local governments avoid what could have been a
big hit financially. Their support was key to getting this
Governor Bob Taft encouraged and supports the settlement,
Zaino said, as a reasonable compromise that eliminates a big
risk for schools.
Late last year, the Department of Taxation settled numerous
lawsuits with electric and telephone utilities seeking $3.9
billion worth of refunds. Duquesne Light was the first of the
companies to challenge rulings on various tax exemptions and
the taxable value of property. The Duquesne case was argued
before the Ohio Supreme Court last December.
Duquesne Light Company was a part owner (13.74%) and partner
in construction of the Perry plant. Duquesne has since
transferred its interest to FirstEnergy Corp. of Akron.
For more information contact:
Gary Gudmundson, Communications Director
Ohio Department of Taxation